Magglio Ordonez has been cleared for game action after taking two weeks off to rest his surgically repaired ankle, so he’ll begin a rehab assignment Friday at Triple-A.
According to Jason Beck of MLB.com the Tigers haven’t said how long they expect Ordonez to spend in the minors, so presumably his bat will determine the timetable after he hit just .172 in 26 games before being placed on the disabled list.
Jim Leyland told Beck that he’s “really anxious to see if Magglio can get back in there.” Complicating the issue is that Ordonez will have to play the outfield when he’s in the lineup thanks to Alex Avila’s strong play at catcher making Victor Martinez a fixture at designated hitter.
Platooning the right-handed-hitting Ordonez with the left-handed-hitting Brennan Boesch would limit the wear and tear on his ankle while also giving him favorable matchups against left-handed pitching.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.